Friday, May 31, 2013
Kathy Beynette and Give-Away
This image is from Kathy Beynette's calendar currently hanging in our apartment. The house we used to live in was on a heavily wooded lot with a creek behind it. It was a typical suburban neighborhood with houses close together and lots of cats and dogs fed on the back porch. That meant the raccoons living in the creek area viewed our houses as nothing more than casual dining restaurants. A lot of the houses, ours included, had pools in the backyard. The raccoons considered these pools their personal spas.
One year Susan put a lot of pots of pansy plants all around the pool. She'd bought special dirt for the plants and, according to the plant people, bloodmeal to mix with the dirt. Noooooooo. The next morning every single pansy plant with its neat little root ball was floating in the pool and the pot dirt mix was spread everywhere. It seems that raccoons consider bloodmeal to be their own special caviar.
At night raccoons tend to fight a lot or maybe it's heavy-duty partying or maybe it's intense sex -- I didn't care to check exactly what it was at 2:00 a.m., I just knew that it had to end. So I got a have-a-heart trap (that kind that doesn't kill, just boxes the critter into a cage) and set it up, figuring I'd eventually nab a few, relocate them a mile or so down the road to the park on the lake and that would take care of the problem. I did this after baby-season so I wouldn't be relocating any mamas away from their babies. And any raccoons that seemed very lethargic or very aggressive were relocated to the Humane Shelter for their evaluation (and relocation).
Thirty-one (that's 31) raccoons and two months later we had peace and quiet. We did worry a little bit that one day we'd read a headline like this in the newspaper: "Dramatic increase in raccoon population in the park!"
Enough on raccoons.
Kathy Beynette is an artist at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. Everytime we visit there she is a delight to talk to about art and just things in general. Her art is great - bright and quirky with a special sense of humor about it. We used to wonder how artists felt about interruptions but found this article interesting. Kathy, if you are reading this, No, we haven't forgotten what we promised you.
The latest Sweater Child give-away is at my school, Austin Community College, which used to be the original Austin High School.